Mary Engells 2004

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I find it very exciting to share with everyone one of my favorite silk ribbon designs that I have stitched many times in several projects. It is a very simple design and I have chosen to provide instructions in both written and visual form. I know many are intimidated by silk ribbon embroidery and to see the actual steps makes if look as simple as it really is.

Supplies Needed:

small frame
black velvet (or any fabric or color you desire)
iron on stabilizer
2 mm silk ribbon variegated purple shades that would be suitable for wisteria
2mm green for leaves
silk buttonhole twist green
E6000 Glue

Stitches Used:

stem stitch branch
outline stitch stems and curls
french knots tips of blooms
lazy daisy blooms
ribbon stitch leaves


Choose a piece of fabric or cut fabric larger than the frame opening. Iron a stabilizer onto the wrong side of the fabric.

I take the glass out of the frame and use it to draw the outline of the frame opening onto the wrong side of the fabric. Using sewing thread, baste the along the drawn outline so the area to be stitched will be shown on the right side of the fabric.

If this is an option with your frame, decided which direction you want to stitch your design by drawing a sketch onto paper.

Choose threads and silk ribbon that will be suitable for your background fabric.


Using the green silk buttonhole twist begin stitching the branch with a stem stitch. When you reach the end of your branch begin using a straight stitch and create little curls as desired. Also stitch the stems of the wisteria's blooms hanging down from the branch.

Beginning a the top of one of your stems, begin making lazy daisy stitches with variegated 2mm silk ribbon. Stitch from one side of the stem to the other as you make your way to the bottom of the stem. When you reach the end of the stem, make approximately 3 french knots for the wisteria tips.

After all your wisteria blooms have been stitched, add your leaves by using the green 2mm silk ribbon. Stitch the leaves as desired by doing the ribbon stitch.

The wisteria may also be stitched with colonial or french knots as shown in this recent project of mine.

After completing all the embroidery, add a charm such a hummingbird, butterfly or bee. My favorite is the little hummingbirds. Now we are ready to frame the picture. I use the glass to mount my embroidered pictures onto or you may cut a piece of cardboard to fit the frame. Using the E6000 glue I spread it well along the edge of the glass and smoothly over the glass. Cut along your basted outline stitch of your design and place onto the glass.

Place your mounted picture into the frame and put the frame backing on the frame. Your wisteria picture is now complete!


Introducing the Author:

My name is Mary Engells and will openly admit that I am addicted to crazy quilting since about 1996. I have been doing many forms of needle work since I was 12 years old. There has always been a needle of some kind in my hands stitching on projects. I am self taught by books and then later also by the Internet. When I first saw a crazy quilted vest embellished with silk ribbon embroidery, beads, buttons and lace several years ago, this opened up many new doors for me. The look and feel of silk ribbon stitched onto fabric soon became a new hobby of mine which was not only stitching with it but buying the ribbon to build up a nice stash and now dyeing my own silk ribbons.

I get all kinds of very odd looks from my teenage son and husband when I'm hand dyeing my ribbons and lace popping it in and out of the microwave! As long as I've fed them dinner first they can't complain! I was born here in Austin, Texas USA and lived here all my life. I have been married for 27 years and have a 16 year old son,19 year old daughter and two cats.

When I was asked to do an article for CQMagOnline I knew that I wanted to share a favorite silk ribbon embroidery design of my own with the directions. I have stitched this silk ribbon Wisteria branch on many projects of mine own. Most all of them were given as gifts to friends and family. I hope that many of you will find this an easy and pleasant design you will enjoy stitching as much as I always have.

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